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Travel Image How do you describe your wife that you have spent more than a quarter of a century with and should know like the back of your hand, until it comes to putting things down on paper! Marg died on the 22 November 2006 in Chennai, after suffering with lung and heart problems for a short time, although the asthma was an ongoing problem, the final illnness was too sudden and the outcome totally unexpected after getting very positive signs that the virus was beaten and she was well on the road to recovery. Not to be, and in a final burst, the illness claimed Marg at 9pm in the evening after her heart just could not cope with the stress of fighting for breath that was happening. So how do you describe a person who you had just celebrated 25 years marriage with, who was the life and soul of you and made all the hours and the efffort that went into the jobs we had all the worthwhile? Having over 100 persons at the funeral and receiving nearlty 200 emails and messages from around the world, is one indication of the sort of lady Marg was and how well she touched peoples lives, some in little ways and others as life long friends. She was certainly a lady of the world and where many people would have said enough traveling, Marg was always looking at various places that we might have gone to live in and then continued to travel around. One reason we did not go back to Australia or New Zealand was the fact that the traveling to leave again was too great and Marg wanted to be somewhere where it was easy to get out of and into the international air routes!

While the Scots accent had disappeared pretty well a long time ago, Marg was very much Scottish to her roots, and it has been my privalage to have been able to scatter some of her ashes back in her native Glasgow, while others will be scattered in Australia and some I shall keep. I suppose that really sums up Marg in that she didn't belong anywhere but everywhere, but it was always with me and that was also by choice and not by obligation. She knew her mind and knew mine very well as well, putting up with me in so many ways as I grew into my responsibilities and became the partner that I should have been years before. We were partners, sharing so many cappuccinos in so many places around the world, sharing so many glasses of wine and so many memories, we never got to that place where we could have sat back and just remembered it all, now too late.

Marg was born in Greenock, just outside Glasgow in Scotland in 1947 and was an only child of her parents George and Margaret Freer. I also know that schooling happened in Glasgow and that there were trips abroad to France and around Scotland in old war time troop ships as part of the curriculum. I also know that mathematics was not a favourite subject and that she did some holiday jobs during the school breaks and in-between, mainly in retail shops. Where did it get to the stage that we met many years later on the other side of the world? Well, there was Rolls Royce in between, in the pay office, The Savoy in London also in the same capacity, a trip across to Switzerland to au pair with a family there and then a working holiday down to Australia, before maybe deciding on New Zealand. One year later and the citizenship was offered (yes - it happened in those days!!) and so she became more Australian. Marg was chosen as an Air hostess on Ansett which took her all around Australia and gave some good training in first aid and handling various situations, and then followed time in a Medical Insurance firm before she decided to give the big world of hospitality a shot - look out Crest International! That's where we met and from there we shared the world of hotels! Actually Marg was very self sufficient in her own right, having spent quite a few years by herself miles away from family and close friends.
 
There have also been times during the years that we have been apart while we fulfill our various obligations and desires, and yet we both could look after ourselves very well, thank you! While Marg was not exactly the sporty type, she was an excellent home maker and decorator with novel and interesting ideas in making our places comfortable and respectable! It was Marg's father that taught me about the five o'clock dram with fine malt whisky and Marg's mum was a visitor to Australia with us for three months at one stage, which was great! I have always admired both her parents, genuinely nice people who have worked hard and honestly all their lives. Sadly George passed away a couple of years ago, but he was the salt of the earth, having been in the Far East for the full six years of the war and then being recuperated for months before finally being shipped home. Margs Mum passed away on the 23 December 2005 after a brief illness. Marg was foirtunate to be able to get back to Scotland both times get to see both her parents before they passed away. We were together in Madras for nearly 5 years and it is strange to think that 50 or more years before Marg's father was also in and out of here and then spent part of his recuperation in the hill stations outside Madras. His brothers were also very active during the war and thankfully, all managed to come home safe and sound. I have always got on very well with my in-laws, but I suppose that it helps in meeting them only every twenty years or so, although Marg was the good daughter and has regularly visited "home" and spent time as a family!  
Marg caught outside the Nungambakkam house with the sewing in 2005
With the camera on our wander around the Chennai zoo in 2005
Marg on our trip to Spain and Ireland in 1997
This time in Hamilton Gardens in 2001 and better weather!
November and our wedding anniversary - celebrated at the Taj
Marg and myself at Trevors late 2003
Marg and Natalie getting into the spirit of sari wearing
Marg with the dogs around at Barovale in 1998
Marg with her bigger half in Opotiki in 2001
Taken in 1997 at the baptismal point on our trip to Jordan, Israel and Egypt
Marg once more, this time in Sri Lanka on our tour around the island in 2003
Relaxing at Trevors during our Christmas get together in 2003
On our farewell from Goa in 2001 and a dinner at the Taj Exotica with friends
Marg relaxing with a cup of coffee after a long drive to Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka
In wet and windy Scotland, her home country in 1999
In New Delhi on our first trip there in 1996
Taken in 1979 and Marg is in the uniform of the Crest International Hotel where we first met
A photo from Scotland and this one is from about 1985
Taken in 2004 on our holiday back to New Zealand and Hamilton
Taken a few years ago over in Scotland on one of the trips to see here Mum, Margaret
In 2000 we traveled around the northern part of the north island
At our farewell from Goa in 2000
Margareth and her Mum Margaret taken in 2003 on here visit back after her father death
A flower amongst flowers at Barovale
Relaxing around at Barovale and always was someone requiring a tickle behind the ears!
A cool drink on a hot day around at Barovale
"What is happening here?" as we wander around the Chennai zoo in 2004
Wandering around Brisbane early 2005 and our first visit back in 18 years
Walking around the ruined Royal baths in Bali visited while we were working there in 1992
On a walk around Nunguru to check out the Pohutikawa, or New Zealand christmas trees, in 2001
Was this really 1979 and on Nelsons Victory or similar on the Thames in London
Water World and a starfish on our trip down the Great Barrier in 1983 or so
Marg was chosen for this Scottish Sunday Post article and makeup treatment in 1998